July 24 – 28, 2024

Paul Niemisto’s research delved into the story of Finnish immigrant bands in Northern Minnesota and along the Great Lakes as they settled into mining and agricultural communities and maintained musical traditions brought over from “the Old Country.” What new insights have emerged since?

“Cornets & Pickaxes” published in June 2013, is a report on his findings and a comprehensive resource of information about life in the northern region region from about 1880 to 1920, with references also to the decades up to the present time. It is a valuable book to historians, music buffs, and ancestry researchers. C&P has already received high praise from social historians, anthropologists, and music lovers. Niemisto’s presentation at Finnfest is a review of the material and an update on new findings.